Google+ House Revivals: Beach House Design Changes

Friday, June 3, 2011

Beach House Design Changes

Remember in this post, where I mentioned some design changes for the beach house remodel?

Changes happen on every project.  Sometimes, things come up that you weren't expecting.  Sometimes, one minor change snowballs into a much larger project.

Sometimes you have to take a hard look at your budget and do some value engineering.

Occasionally, your contractor or his crew just doesn't look at the plans, and when you discover the mistake, you decide to let it go, just to stay on schedule.

 A few changes that have occurred in our project include the garage door (this was a "let it go, just to stay on schedule" situation), and the kitchen layout.

The kitchen change started out small -- we were just going to switch placement of the sink and the stove.  Easy.  We decided to do this, as a newly built neighboring house left the view from one of the kitchen windows rather marginal.  So, we removed that window and decided to put our vintage stove on that wall as a focal point.  This involved patching shingles on the exterior wall.  Simple, right?  Well, it turns out all the shingles on that wall were rotten and needed to be replaced.  And since we were replacing all those shingles, it seemed like a good idea to replace the kitchen windows now, rather than later -- why patch the same shingles twice, right?   Removing one little window snowballed into a much bigger project.

In the interest of reining in the budget, I made a last minute change to our entry stair design.

The original plan called for a six foot wide staircase leading up to the double entry door.
The value engineered plan called for a four foot wide stairway, with a six foot wide landing.

And I hate it.  I hate it soooo much, I'm willing to give up my quartz countertops to fix the stairs. But who am I kidding?  Those countertops were already in jeopardy.  I was floored when my quotes came in about 30% higher here in the PNW, than the identical product would have been from my old supplier in Boulder.  Yikes!  And since countertops are pretty much the very last thing to go in, they are pretty much at the mercy of the rest of the project staying on budget.

While stripping wallpaper, like I talked about here, I discovered a lot of mold on one wall.  Investigation showed that we had a leak on an upper deck.  After much discussion, my GC and I decided the prudent thing was to enclose that deck.  But, I told him I needed to draw it on the computer, to decide how best to go about it. 

This pic shows a concept for keeping the original deck.

I came home and drew.  The first option felt a little blah...

Here, we just boxed in the existing deck.

And drew.

 And drew.

We even looked at referencing the bump out next to the garage, 
by angling the side of the deck enclosure.

And all the while, my general contractor had his crew enclosing the deck.

He didn't use any of my designs.  He did his own thing.  I was horrified to discover this, but now, I think I really like it.  The house is a period house, and this was a window style often seen in homes of the era.  I've always been a fan of staying true to your house's pedigree.  And it's going to let in much more light than my designs allowed for.   And seriously, the most important thing, right now, is to stay on schedule.

During all of this "deck enclosing", my contractor decided to go ahead and completely remove what had been the exterior wall.

Normally, a great idea.  Except, we were really trying to contain the extent of the renovation.  Other than carpeting (and the new toilet I talked about here), we were not going to renovate anything on the third level,  but now we have this weird transition. We're just going to leave it weird.  For now.  Because we cannot fall behind schedule again, for a very important reason.

We have someone special coming to live in this house very soon....

... while her daddy serves in Afghanistan.  Her mommy will be arriving in about two weeks, and our very special house guest is due to make her appearance about four weeks later.  So, I will forgive my contractor for not always consulting me when he makes a design decision, because he's just trying to keep things on schedule.  It's all about the schedule right now.  It's not his schedule.  Nor is it my schedule.  We're not really the ones calling the shots at all.  And that's okay.

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  1. This is all so awesome, Amanda! I can't believe the contractor just went ahead--thank goodness you like it. I think you should use butcher block. It's warmer. Miss you!

  2. I have to give you credit for your commitment to stay on budget. You have obviously planned this out well! Good for you. I can't wait to see the finished product!

  3. Good heavens, Amanda - this whole reno/rebuild should be required reading for anyone heading into a big project. It sounds like you are able to keep your sense of balance in the face of lots of change and many obstacles.

  4. oh wow!! That is so wonderful, to really have a family in your awsome house!! Take care of yourself and the little one!! This is all so stressful!!!

  5. I'm in awe of this huge undertaking still. :)
    awww a new guest! how sweet!


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